The Casino Estoril Auditorium hosted the delivery of the Vasco Graça Moura Prize – Cultural Citizenship – to Emílio Rui Vilar, and the Fernando Namora and Agustina Bessa-Luis Literary Awards, instituted by Estoril Sol, and for 2020, respectively, to Francisco José Viegas and Marta Pais de Oliveira. The Minister of Culture, Graça Fonseca, presided over this event, referring, “I want to thank you for the invitation to participate in the awards ceremony that evoke three unique figures not only from Portuguese literature, but also from our culture and citizenship”.
The Minister of Culture congratulated the Estoril Sol Group, “each year, creating new paths in Portuguese culture, showing that it is an authentic patron of literary creation in Portugal and of the recognition of cultural citizenship. The continuity and persistence with which they have done this are especially important in the social context that we have gone through and in which the support for cultural creation was so fundamental for culture to continue to happen”.
In the framework of the winning works, Guilherme d’Oliveira Martins, President of the Jury, recalled that “A Luz de Pequim”, by Francisco José Viegas, who won the Fernando Namora Prize, “is a novel that questions time and what we do with he, making an assessment of past experiences and current uncertainties”. About Marta Pais de Oliveira, who was distinguished with the Revelation Award Agustina Bessa Luís, she highlighted that the winning work, “Escavadoras”, stands out “for a narrative that naturally attracts, not only for its dreamlike aspects but also for the feeling of loss that one and the existential universe of the characters”.
Regarding the Vasco Graça Moura Award, the President of the Jury said that “Emílio Rui Vilar is an expressive example of cultural citizenship. The professional path constitutes the affirmation of a constant, important and significant cultural action developed over a long and fruitful period, especially as an administrator or manager in charge or with responsibilities in large and prestigious institutions”.
Using the word, Emílio Rui Vilar underlined, “The name of the patron of the award – Vasco Graça Moura – is the reason for rejoicing. Vasco Graça Moura was one of the most talented people I met. He looked like a renaissance man: his unusual culture, mastery of languages, creative and inventive capacity, musical knowledge and his enviably tidy libraries made him able to do everything well – and that was a lot – what he got his hands on: poetry, novel, essay, translation, controversy in addition to having been a lawyer and cultural manager. A defender of the language, in the long list of awards he has received, one that he deserved is missing: Camões. But it is the fate of the best”.
Francisco José Viegas began by thanking Estoril Sol for the “Fernando Namora Prize. editor’s place and passing to the author’s place. I must admit it’s more comfortable.”
In turn, Marta Pais de Oliveira, winner of the Agustina Bessa Luís Award, stated: “I am honored to receive the Award with your name on it. I thank Estoril Sol for the service rendered to culture, defending culture is defending thought and democracy. I thank whoever reads it. I am grateful to those who will read me. I will now pursue the books that are not yet.”
At the opening of the ceremony, Mário Assis Ferreira said: The promotion of Culture is a goal that has been with us for a long time in this House and to which we want to remain faithful, despite the situational setbacks that beset us. In fact, the commitment to Arts, Culture, Music, and Entertainment continues to be a structuring objective of Estoril Sol, an original concept that we are proud of and that makes a difference, although the epidemic crisis forced us to limit the offer, in compliance with the regulations of the Health authorities, conditioning these activities in closed spaces.